If you think you want to go to Med school after graduation, you've probably heard people talking about "pre-med." So what is it exactly and what schools are best for it?
Pre-med is an educational path that you take as an undergraduate to complete all of the coursework required to apply to medical school. Most schools don't offer a distinct pre-med major so many students major in related fields like biology or chemistry while completing the required courses. The American Association of Medical Colleges requires at least 2 years of chemistry (one of which must be in organic chemistry), one year of biology and one year of physics.
If you're certain that you want to go on to medical school, however, some schools will offer more robust programs than others. A good pre-med college will offer upper level classes in biology, chemistry and genetics that you can take as electives in addition to the AAMC-required coursework. The best schools will also provide undergraduate students with opportunities for research, clinical experience and volunteer activities. Strong pre-med advising resources will also help you graduate with a strong medical school application and a solid background of knowledge that will help you when taking the MCATS.
Washington University in St. Louis
Despite being a medium-sized university, WashU offers the pre-med resources of a much larger university. They offer a pre-med specific orientation program, extensive advising and a semester-long MCAT prep course. Pre-med students also have access to specially tailored research and study abroad programs as well as community service and extracurricular activities.
Northwestern has a great pre-med program with an array of advising resources for students. They also offer an early MD acceptance program with their Feinberg School of Medicine. Undergrads apply in their Junior year and, if accepted, automatically go on to the medical school after thier senior year.
UPenn is home to some world-class research institutes studying Alzheimers, cancer, AIDS, head injuries, cardiovascular health, and developmental biology, which means you won't have to look far for killer research opportunities with prestigious scientists. The pre-med advising is also extensive, helping students plan their curriculum, research activities, clinical experience and volunteer work.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
UNC-Chapel Hill has an active chapter of the pre-professional health honor society, Alpha Epsilon Delta. There's also a Volunteer Services Office to help pre-med students volunteer at UNC hospitals, an array of courses, and special workshops to help students study for the MCATs and interview with medical schools.
Harvard's student-run Premedical Society ensures that pre-meds are never at a loss for social support and advice. They also put out a Student Guide to Premed Life written for students by students. Harvard's brand name cache, top-notch research facilities and great advising resources mean you're likely to get into med school after graduation.